Wednesday, January 31, 2007

On Fonts, Size, and Colour

There are Good Web Design Features and there are bad ones. Here are some tips for creating a good web design:

- Make sure background doesn’t distract, overpower or interrupt the text.
Colours of background should set a good contrast for text to be read. Personally I think blue on black is not a good idea.
- Size of text should not be too tiny (don't forget there are half the world's population who need reading glasses), but not too big to tire the eyes.
- Columns of text should be narrower than in a book to make reading easier on the screen.
- Underline links so they are instantly clear.
- Links should download quickly. Web-users will exit if they are kept waiting for more than a few seconds.
- Use photos, subheads, pull quotes (quotes from text that you wish to highlight) to break up large areas of text. The assist scannability.
- Paragraphs should be kept short, preferably of not more than three sentences long.
- Use colours—people gravitate towards colours. But too many colours can make a page look ‘busy’, even distracting. It’s also more tiring to the eyes. (Check out
- Use photos and graphics. People always love to see pictures. Studies show that graphics are important for people with poor reading skills and low attention span. Teenagers on the Web are attracted to sites with ‘cool looking graphics’.
- Draw attention to related articles within a text by boxing them. Designer Mario Garcia recommends that borders around the box should be thin so it blends into the layout, not pop out. The top and bottom borders could be thicker but never the sides.

This should motivate us to design better web documents: tests showed that when web users are Applying Writing Guidelines to Web Pages usability was improved by 159%!

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About Me

In the Old Testament in the Bible, there was a man named Jacob who "wrestled with God and man." He wouldn't let God go until God answered his prayers. God admired that and renamed him Israel, "the one who fought or wrestled and prevailed". He fought with man--his inner man--and conquered his own weaknesses. He's my hero. He is what I hope God and man see me to be.